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cnn primetime tonight. for now, let's go to wolf blitzer with the latest on what's happening in libya, across the middle east and japan. wolf in washington. two. happening right now, breaking news. president barack obama warns libyan troops and moammar gadhafi to stop attacks against civilians or face military action. how far will the u.s. and its allies go to enforce a u.n.-authorized no-fly zone? also this hour, a new level of crisis at japan's crippled snuk power plant. as the race goes on to heat down those reactors, officials now say this disaster is on par with the worst nuclear accident in u.s. history and mile after mile of destruction, search and rescue crews barely know where to begin. we're with emergency teams risking their own lives to save others. i'm wolf blitzer.
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you're in "the situation room." president obama says the world has given moammar gadhafi ample warning that his bloody assault on rebel forces will not stand. mr. obama putting gadhafi on notice just a while ago, a day after the u.n. security council approved the use of force to protect civilians in libya. the president says the libyan leader would commit atrocities if left unchecked and thousands of people could die. >> these terms are not subject to negotiation. if gadhafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences. and the resolution will be enforce enforced through military action. >> we just heard the libyan deputy foreign minister in libya saying gadhafi's forces won't enter the city of benghazi in order to comply with the cease-fire resolution. our u.n. correspondent is standing by and let's go live to arwa damon who is in benghazi. it looks like they are making
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noises in tripoli about complying with the cease-fire, but i assume the rebels where you are totally skeptical, and they are still very worried about gadhafi's forces. >> wolf, they are not skeptical, they flat out just don't believe that it's going to take place. were in fact gadhafi set to comply with the u.n. resolution, we should not be seeing the type of fighting that we saw taking place today throughout entire country. there are dramatic images of a civilian area being shelled in misrata. civilian, this is who this resolution is supposed to be protecting. we were just outside ajdabiya, 30 miles from a checkpoint where opposition fighters would not let us advance any further because of the intense fighting going on there. people very worried about the fact that the implementation of the u.n. resolution is taking so long because the intensity of the battlefield here is at the exact same level that it has
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been all along. in ajdabiya, one ambulance worker driving out of there says they weren't able to get to the wounded because the battle was raging around them. they weren't able to pick up the bodies of the dead. people here want to see that u.n. resolution implemented immediately. they say that they must have a no-fly zone. they do need surgical air strikes, because if that doesn't happen, the end result is going to be simple. more people are going to die, wolf. >> there's no hard commitment, no flat commitment to arm the rebels in this u.n. security council resolution. i assume that's what they want, though. they also want weapons. >> reporter: they would -- yes, they would want weapons because the weapons that they have when put against what gadhafi has at his disposal are really the bare minimum. the opposition here is nothing more than young men who really learned how to fight in the last few weeks. the weapons that they are using,
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whatever they manage to get their hands on from the various arms depots that they eventually took over. we're talking about that, being pitted against a military machine. they don't stand a chance really. they have a lot of heart. they have a lot of courage. they have taken this just about as far as they can, but we have been seeing them regularly, slowly being beaten back by gadhafi's forces and there are fears that because the discussion is to how to implement this resolution is taking so long, that is just giving gadhafi ample time to do what he will against the populations. people do not believe that he has any intention of implementing a cease-fire or adhering to any of the other requirements that are expected of him. wolf. >> they aren't yet convinced, is that,what i'm hearing from you, arwa, that the u.s.-led cavalry, i should say sorngts way to help rescue them. they heard the words out of the u.n. security council, but they are not seeing the deeds yet.
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>> reporter: exactly. they do believe that the international community is now finally standing by them. they do believe that they are not in this fight alone, that the world is in fact watching what is happening in libya. they do believe that people will step in at some point in time, but issue is when in time is that going to be, and that is the fear here. people don't trust gadhafi. they say that he is a man who has committed atrocities against his own people ever since he has -- ever since he came to power over 40 years ago, and they do feel that by delaying the implementation of this resolution, that's only giving him even more time to commit even more massacres, so, yes, they do believe that help is on the way, but they also fear that by the time that may materialize the death toll here is only going to rise. >> we'll check back with you. that's coming up. arwa, we'll check in with nic robertson in tripoli as well. more now on president obama's ultimatum to moammar gadhafi. how much force the united states is willing to use against him.
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let's bring in our white house correspondent dan lothian. dan, the president had strong, powerful words today, direct message. non-negotiable terms for gadhafi. i assume at the white house they now realize that if there is military action in libya by the outside world, this will become president obama's war. >> reporter: that's true, and, you know, the bottom line here is there's a lot of skepticism talk from the foreign minister in libya that they were imposing this cease-fire and that in fact that did not happen. so what you're hearing from this administration is that they need to see actions rather than just words, and so the president very forceful today saying the u.s. was prepared to use military action to get libya to abide by the u.n. resolutions, to impose that no-fly zone. and -- and the president being very clear, laying out what gadhafi needs to do to -- to impose that cease-fire immediately to stop advancing towards benghazi, and pull out of other cities to restore power
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and also gas, and -- and water to communities that have been cut off. one other thing, too, wolf, if you're paying attention closely to what the president was saying today. time and time again repeating that this is not a mission for the u.s. alone, realizing that the international community is watching, maybe critical of the united states invading another arab country, and so the president pointing out that there are international partners here, the arab league, the british and also the french, and there's a supporting role that the united states will also play going for a. also the president was making a case to the american people who might be concerned as to why the u.s. should be concerned about libya. take a listen. >> here's why this matters to us. left unchecked we have every reason to believe that gadhafi would commit acrotrocities agai his people. many thousands could die. humanitarian crisis would ensue. the entire region could be
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destablized, endangering many of our allies and partners. >> reporter: so, again, you heard the president talking about why it's important for the u.s. to take this tough stance in libya if in fact moammar gadhafi does not go along with this cease-fire, and the president also saying that all of the talk from the u.s. or the international community would, quote, be rendered hollow if the u.s. and its partners do not deliver on these -- on what the u.n. has voted on yesterday, wolf. >> dan, i couldn't help but notice that the president invited the top congressional leadership, democrat and republicans, over to the white house situation room to be briefed on what's going on by his generals and diplomats and others, sort of consistent at least, in my mind, with the war powers resolution, a traditional step before the united states go to war, a resolution that followed the u.s. involvement in vietnam, the vietnam war, so
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they are gearing up congress for military action right now. >> that's right, wolf, and, you know, it's interesting, because when they put out that notice it was a late add today when the president around 12:30 invited this bipartisan group of lawmakers to come here to the white house to meet inside the situation room. i asked specifically why this unusual move, why not meet in another room. was the president in fact laying out any kind of intelligence that the u.s. had or laying out a time line as to when the u.s. planned to go in and perhaps start doing military action. a white house official telling me not to read too much into the location of that meeting, but nonetheless, wolf, you know that this is the -- the administration gearing up for an aggressive posture in libya and wanting to make sure that lawmakers from capitol hill are on board from the very start. >> to me it's got a feel as it was back in man of 2003 on the eve of the u.s.-led invasion of iraq, but that may just be me.
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stand by, dan. a lot more on this crisis in libya coming up. susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, always outspoken. she's here in "the situation room" this hour, but i want to get to japan's nuclear crisis right now. the prime minister says the situation is very grave. this new photo on pained by cnn appears to show damage to the reactor number one building. japan nuclear safety agency calling this a level five emergency, on par with the three mile island accident here in the united states back in 1979. a moment of silence in japan to mark the week since the quake and the tsunami disaster struck. more than 17,000 people now officially listed as either dead or missing. as the japanese worry about their radiation risk, one international nuclear group says traces of radiation have reached california from japan. those experts say the amount is harmless. however, the environmental protection agency says it has not seen any increase in
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radiation levels on the west coast. we're all over this story. more frantic attempts to cool down one of the most badly damaged reactors at that daiichi plant today. our martin savidge is in tokyo with more on where this nuclear crisis stands right now. where does it stand, marty? >> reporter: well, we've got a new day starting, saturday, daylight returning to tokyo, but all night long the crews have continued to work out there at the fukushima site. what they have been doing is alternate between using the new fire trucks that have been brought. in these are ones that are designed to fight fires and high rise build national tokyo. the advantage they have is their reach which is what you want, the ability to send a lot of water over a large distance. that helps cool and protect the crews that operate them, but that said, they can only go for a limited time and then they have to be withdrawn. another truck moves forward and replaces another previous. this way there's a seven-vehicle
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p rotation and the water keeps flowing. then they do the next effort, which is hook up electricity and this is considered to be crucial. first trying to hook up generators. if they can get those working maybe they will try to get the main power lines back into the plant. all was destroyed as a result of the tsunami, get the main power on and then maybe you can get the main pump on, get the main pumps on and you can start to stabilize things but the problem is even if they get the electricity in, and that's a tough go, even if they do, they are not sure that the pumps survive the tsunami and then the subsequent blast that came as a result of the hydrogen explosion so still very much an iffy game. >> even as we speak right now, the u.s. is recommending all americans get out of a 50-mile radius of that nuclear complex. the japanese government still says 12 miles is safe enough. is that the latest information you're getting? >> reporter: right, and there seems to be a bit of a conflict in the sense that if the
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japanese government is raising, that is, this level of concern, going from the 4 to a 5, why would they not perhaps increase the area of evacuation. the government says right now that they feel quite comfortable with where thanks stand, that is, japanese people moved out of an area 12 miles around that plant. they don't see a need to move them any further than, that and, in fact, there is evidence from the new surveillance aircraft that the united states has loaned japan, the deadliest or the worst form of contamination of radiation has not left that 12-mile exclusion zone. so for right now the japanese feel comfortable where they are. when you ask them why do the americans say you need more space? they say obviously the americans are very concerned for their own people. if the shoe was on the other foot they would tell the japanese people in america to get as far away as you should. wolf? ? i was speaking to one scientist here in washington, a radiation specialist who told me, you know what, if you don't have to be there right now, get out of there. if you're essential to be in the
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50-mile radius, stay if you're helping people, rafer, but don't have to get out and get out quickly. we'll stay in touch with you and on top of this story, the nuclear disaster unfolding in japan right now, and it's one of the most dangerous jobs you can imagine. we're in the disaster zone with a u.s. search-and-rescue crew famous for its bravery. stand by to hear exactly what these heroes are going through, and the how close is your home to a nuclear power plant and the possibility of a meltdown? we're going to show you. lots of news happening today in libya, in japan. you're in "the situation room."
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we're seeing a huge economic impacts from the disaster in japan beyond the empty shelves and the closed stores, the fallout is rippling across the globe right now. some examples. general motors has suspended production at its assembly plant in shreveport, louisiana next week. the plant is simply short on parts it gets from japan. apple may face shortages of key components of its newly released ipad two and merely every electronic item and car on the planet relies on high-tech parts from japan. in japan right now, emergency crews are working almost around the clock under very difficult conditions. our brian todd has been with one american search-and-rescue team every step of the way. >> wolf, this was once a hotel if ofunato, but it's been blasted by the earthquake and
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tsunami. a car has been tossed into the front facade and most of us when we walk by a structure like this after an event like this, we would gawk and take a picture and move often we'll go inside this place with guys who do the most dangerous work after events like this. tom carver and brad heywood have to move fast. someone could be waiting. they sledgehammer, kick, shoulder their way into every available opening. you guys look like you like to break things. >> yeah, type "aq "personality. >> reporter: they are called technical rescue specialists with the fairfax county virginia team, but they are more like storm troopers. these guys have to barrel into the most dangerous structures after an earthquake or tsunami and look for survivors. they lower their way into unknown danger, contort into every possible opening and ascend taller buildings that seem to be on the verge of collapse. it's one of most treacherous jobs you can imagine. what was your closest call?
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>> down in haiti we -- we were tunnelling through a building and there were decent aftershocks and, you know, you're in a small hole, hard way in, hard way out, so sometimes you've got to protect in place and hope for the best and knowing your team is behind you to come and get you if there is something that happens. >> reporter: on that day carver tunnelled his way out. on this one we're in ofunato, japan, where the tsunami's waters came up to the third floor of this hotel. we followed this team as they navigate blocked staircases, scale walls and squeeze through narrow cracks knowing the floor could give way with any step or an aftershock could bring the whole building down ounce. not only dangerous but kind of painstaking as well. we're going through the basement of this building, and they have got to check basically every door that's shut, that's wedged shut and here's a door to a small bathroom just on the off chance that someone could be there, under the sink here. every krefis in a building like this with millions of crevices
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have to be checked. when we emerge, a distinct mark is painted on the building, a signal to other rescue teams who might pass. >> this signifies you didn't find any. >> reporter: no victims, no hazards. >> reporter: though no one is found here, carver thinks about what could be in the next teetering structure and recalls a moment in hait. >> we went to university, and we had -- as we entered the building there was -- you could see a guy's face through the concrete. took us numerous hours to get him out and found another lady on the other side of him. took 32 hours to get her out and just knowing, that you know, we're making a difference in people's lives. that's what it's all about. >> reporter: as satisfying as it is to come out of a building with no casualties inside, no hazards, it's weighed against the fact that they have to come through others, through several days, through an entire city that's just been ruined. wolf? >> brian, thanks very much. on a personal note, by the way, here's a picture of brian. his producer and their photographer. so right now they are headed to
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tokyo. they traveled with a search-and-rescue team, unable to shower in more than a week and sleeping nun heated quarters in 20-degree temperatures. we appreciate their work, what they bring to all of our viewers. the stories from northern japan as well as that of hard working journalists who risk their lives every day in the war zones. these are dangerous situations around the world. i want to thank brian, dugal and doug for their excellent, excellent coverage. appreciate it investment as japan tries to avert potential nuclear catastrophe, could the u.s. now face the same dangerous scenario? just like japan, it stores spent fuel rods at nuclear sites. is it playing with fire, and violent unrest flaring across the middle east. yemen is just one flashpoint where clashes have now left dozens of people dead and even more injured. we're watching what's happening. e for more complete oral care. ♪ it works in six different ways
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just came back from the middle east. i can testify turmoil is flaring this. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room." political unrest there. it's -- it's spreading, and spreading and -- and to a certain degree only just beginning, and we don't know where it's going to wind up. >> yeah, that's the big question, wolf. in bahrain, the site of weeks of anti-government demonstrations is now just a pile of broken debris. security forces demolished the pearl monument in the capital. opposition leaders say they will
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not be cowed. in yemen's capital troops clashed violently with anti-government protesters. at least 40 people there were killed. more than 100 others are injured. yemen's president has declared a state of emergency. the u.s. and france are urging yemen's government to allow peaceful protests and saudi arabia's king abdullah is announcing a multi-billion dollar package aimed at averting unrest in his kingdom. he's promises tens of billions of dollars for new housing, health care and unemployment benefits. ordered 60,000 new jobs be created in the military and security forces, but opposition activists say their demands are still being ignored. after seven years in exile in south africa, former haitian president jean-bertrand aristide is back in his homeland, and he arrived today just ahead of sunday's crucial presidential runoff. that's not sitting well with the obama administration which had warned his return could disrupt the vote, even though he's not a candidate. aristide was ousted as haiti's
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president back in 2004. and in islamabad, pakistan's foreign ministry summoned the american ambassador today to protest a deadly u.s. drone strike. pakistani intelligence officials say the strike in the country's volatile tribal region killed at least 44 people, many of them civilians. pakistan says it will boycott a key meeting with top u.s. and afghan officials set for march 26th. wolf? >> lots happening around the world. thanks very much, lisa, for that. president obama lays out an ultimatum to libya's ayatollah khomeini. stop the attacks or face the consequences. what the u.s. military is doing to get ready for a no-fly zone over libya. one couple, two countries, three earthquakes. they tell us their amazing story of survival and their message of hope for japan.
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let's get back to the breaking news this hour. president obama warning moammar gadhafi to stop what he calls the brutal repression of civilians in libya or physical military action. he says the international community is united and the
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demand for a cease-fire in his words not negotiable. jufrlt a short while ago the deputy foreign minister denied any bomb bardment by the government forces since the crease fire was announced some 24 hours ago and flatly denied any civilians have been killed by pro-gadhafi troops in the last few days or weeks. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence. chris, show us how u.s. troops, libyan forces, may be preparing for what's next. >> yeah, wolf, well, the france could send its jets directly from france and they could fly to libya without refueling. the italians have authorized the use of some american military bases there and we're told the u.s. intelligence community is advising on key libyan targets. take a look at this graphic, for just a second and we can show you the options available to nato. take a look first at what a full no-fly zone would look like. in this sort of no-fly zone jets would cover the entire country,
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north to south, east to west, and that would cost probably or in the range of about $300 million a week. now let's take a look at what a limited no-fly zone would be. that would be from the area of tripoli to benghazi, but only in the northern, more populated areas of the country. that would come at a cost roughly less than $100 million a week, and finally, a standoff no-fly zone. in this case no jets would be crossing over libyan air face. instead, it would be ships firing missiles from -- from ships offshore in the mediterranean sea. that would be the cheapest option at about $25 million a week. now, we know that the u.s. has five warships out there in the med right now, but the feeling that i'm getting here in the pentagon is that initially, initially, the u.s. military role may be more one of support. you know, perhaps using their ships and airplanes, to work air traffic control of other jets performing missions, or using
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some of their signal-jamming planes to disrupt colonel gadhafi's ability to communicate with his forces. >> here's what i've been thinking about, as far as the money is concerned. keep a running tab how much of this is costing the u.s., the nato allies and some of the other arab countries who might be participating and once gadhafi is gone, and presumably sooner rather than later, you take the money from him, his sons, the billions of dollars that they have stollen from the libyan people, it's an oil-rich country, as you know and you reimburse the treasuries of france, italy, spain, the uae and some other countries. that would be money well spent. i would assume that that would be welcome news for the pentagon as well. they are looking to save some cash as well. but what's the assessment at the pentagon as to how effective this could all be, a no-fly zone? >> reporter: well, we know that he has between 30 and 40 launchers, wolf, and you can take a look again at this graphic as well. it will help to sort of illustrate exactly where his
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defenses lie. some of his surface-to-air missiles may now be in areas that are now controlled by the rebels, so colonel gadhafi may not have control over all of his surface-to-air missile installations, but we know that he does have ballistic missiles with a range of about 200 miles offshore. in other words, they could fire up to just short of about 200 miles offshore. that is something the allies will have to take into account. obviously air defenses would be one of the first targets. we know that he's got a lot of -- between 100 and 200 fighter general motors but they are old. these were delivered back in the 1970s, the early '80s, soviet era weaponry that is real know match for modern fighter jets. the fear isn't so much overcoming his defenses. it's this idea of mission creep, that once you're involved in this situation you may take on more and more responsibilities and get dragged deeper and deeper into the conflict. wolf? >> one general told me this week
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that if it comes down to a war between the u.s. air force and the libyan air force, it's almost like a division three college basketball team taking on the los angeles lakers or the miami heat. it's not going to be much of a match when all is said and done, but that's just one example that a general gave me this week. chris lawrence is over at the pentagon for us, thanks very much. almost 24 hours after the u.n. security council approved all measures necessary to stop gadhafi from further attacks on his own people, deadly fighting is raging right now in libya. and joining us now, the united states ambassador of the united nations, susan rice. ambassador, thanks very much for coming in. let's go through some of the points, gadhafi right now. is he in violation of u.n. security council resolution 1973? >> yes, he is. resolution 1973 demanded an immediate cease-fire and an end to all offensive operations. it also banned any air flights
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on the territory of libya. the president just recently issued an ultimatum this afternoon with immediate effect which said that gadhafi had to cease fire, stop moving on benghazi and protect civilians and pull back from three key cities that he has been attacking, allow electricity, water and gas to flow to all civilians and allow humanitarian assistance in and if gadhafi doesn't do so with immediate effect, he will face the consequences and the president was very clear that those consequences will be military. >> how much time does gadhafi have? >> the cease-fire must be implemented immediately. >> well, does that mean that if by tomorrow he hasn't done these four things, that the president laid out, that the u.s. will act? >> reporter: >> wolf, the u.s. is ready to act, along with partners from the league of arab states and europe. gadhafi should be under no illusions that if he doesn't act immediately he'll face swift and
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sure consequences, including military action. >> well, it's now 24 hours since the u.n. security council passed the resolution. people are dying right now. he's still killing people based on all of our eyewitness reporting. what's the delay? why not act? >> wolf, i'm not going to give you the operational plan here on television, but i can assure you that the united states and partners in europe and in particular partners from the arab world are planning and preparing and have positioned assets and are ready to act if gadhafi does not implement the terms of this ultimatum immediately. >> because a lot of people, the rebels, the opposition. they are telling our own arwa damon an telling our reporters on the scene and they are appealing to the world, please help right away. if you wait another 24 hours, another 48 hours, a lot of people are going to die. you appreciate the urgency of what's going on right now. >> we very much appreciate the urgency which is why the security council acted with
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unprecedented speed. after the arab league issued its appeal. what we passed yesterday, wolf, was a resolution with sweeping implications authorizing the use of force to protect civilians, to impose a no-fly zone and a series of sanctions that frankly i think will be quite severe. they include military authorization to enforce the arms embargo, a plan on any flights in and out of libyan territory, particularly those that we believe are bringing in mercenaries, an asset freeze on all of libya's principal companies, including its sovereign wealth fund and central bank so these are very serious steps and reflect urgency that we and others in the international community see as being necessary. >> and are you still demanding that gadhafi must go? >> the president has been very clear that he has lost his legitimacy to rule, if he ever had any, and he ought to go.
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>> if he doesn't go and he fights and the u.s. or allies capture him, will he be subject to war crimes? >> well, there is -- the first thing that the security council did some three weeks ago, wolf, was to refer the situation in libya to the international criminal court, and you hartd preside -- you heard the president reaffirm today gadhafi and those around him will be held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanitiy. >> does the resolution authorize military action directly aimed against gadhafi personally? >> no, wolf. the purpose of the resolution is to protect civilians and to ensure that gadhafi and his forces are not able to continue to go after innocents. that's the purpose and that's what we will be doing. >> so if he complies with this resolution, wraus his forces and does all the other things that they demand, will you allow him to stay in power? >> wolf, i'm not going to get into next steps. the purpose of this resolution and the enforcement action that
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the president affirmed in our readiness to undertake had a very clear purpose, and that purpose was to protect civilians, to hold gadhafi accountable and to increase the pressure on his regime. we have a range of measures, separate and apart, from what is contained in the security council resolution at our disposal to implement other aspects of u.s. policy but i'm describing precisely what the resolution allows. >> does the resolution authorize arming the rebels? >> the resolution doesn't specify that and it doesn't authorize it, but i don't -- i think a careful legal reading of it would suggest that it doesn't preclude it either. >> is the u.s. planning on harming the rebels? >> wolf, i'm not going to get into all aspects of what may be u.s. policy, but i will say that we are focused immediately on protection of civilians, on ensuring that the march to benghazi does not continue and that those who are most vulnerable have the rights and protections that they deserve.
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>> which arab air forces will participate in the no-fly zone? >> i will let those governments speak for themselves. we have heard indications already from countries like the united arab emirates and qatar, that they are interested in participating. they can make their announcements as and if they are ready. we look forward to participation of a number of important arab partners, as well as europeans and others. >> one final question because i've been asked on twitter by it by a whole bunch of followers out there, people who are going to follow me. who is going to pay for all of this? >> wolf, this is a coalition effort, and it will involve the contributions of arab countries, of europeans and others, canada has also agreed to participate. this is not the united states alone or even predominantly. we will be part of this coalition, and the costs and responsibilities will be shared broadly. >> if you have questions for ambassador rice, tweet her your questions at ambassadorrice, all one word. ambassador, thanks very much. good luck.
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>> good to be with you. >> i just posted a few minutes ago at my reporter's notebook on my trip with secretary of state hillary clinton to egypt, tunisia and france. you might want to check it out. radiation levels around japan's crippled nuclear power plant may be getting even worse. we're tracking the wind strength and the direction around the plant. and if you don't know how far away you may be living from a nuclear power plant, guess what? we're going to show you how to find out.
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a u.s. military detection plane is now in place to help measure radiation exposure in japan. levels around the daiichi nuclear power plant may rise as the winds shift. our meteorologist chad myers is tracking the weather in japan right now. this is potentially, chad, a life-and-death issue for folks in certain parts of japan. >> no question about it, because the entire time that we've had this disaster, the winds have been blowing out of the west, and at times very, very hard, 15, 20, 30 miles per hour. those westerly winds are about to shift and blow the radiation back on to the country, back on to the countryside. right now the winds are fairly calm, but that means that the radiation that's attached to humidity and dust and whatever, it's not being blown out to see anymore. it's kind of sitting there over the reactor as the winds shift
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and eventually blow out of the east. some of that radiation is going to get very close to some very big cities, wolf. >> i'm very worried about this, so are our viewers. >> have you heard about the big tides, too, wolf? >> no, tell me. >> let me tell you about it. there's a huge tide coming in and a big full moon coming and the gravity of the earth and the sun will really make the biggest tides of the year. this is a picture of what the tide looked like in one of the cities very close to the ocean. because the country has shifted eight to 12 feet closer to the u.s., it's also sunk down three-peat in some spots, and that's the tide. the tide of the ocean is now into the city because the city is lower than it was. >> one bad thing after another for these folks. nye heart goes out to them. chad, thank you. just like u.s. the u.s. maintains pools at sites around
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if you've been following the nuclear crisis in japan you probably heard a good deal about spent fuel roads and how they figure into the threat of radiation exposure. our mary snow has been looking into how the fuel rods work in japan and here in the united states. what are you finding out, mary? >> well, wolf, one thing that the united states and japan have in common is that there is no long-term storage facility for used nuclear fuel, the spent fuel rods you just mentioned. they are stored at power plans. a look at the fukushima nuclear power plant where a big threat comes from the pools storing used nuclear fuel. they keep spent fuel rods cool but because the water has either leaked or boiled off utility crews an soldiers have been spraying water in a frantic effort to replenish those pools. if those spent fuel rods are not
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kept cool, they are partially melted or burned sending radiation into the air. this photo shows a gaping hole at reactor four. the pools are used in japan because it stores used fuel at its plants. so does the united states. david diamond is a nuclear engineer with the department of energy's brookhaven national lab and says those spent fuel rods need to be constantly fueled for months at a time. >> eventually the heat in the rods subside to the point that they can be taken out of the pool and put into a dry cask. in other words, they don't need cooling any more but you still need them in a structure that keeps the radiation from getting out into the environment. >> here in the u.s., this is a spent fuel pool at the dresden nuclear power plant in illinois where cnn's brian todd visited last year? in fact, where we're standing right now is very safe, for walking around, working in, whatever we need to do. >> but because its pools are full, dresden says it's putting
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fuel into these dry casks and it advocates a site to permanently store nuclear waste. that was intended to happen at yucca mountain in nevada but the controversy around it has blocked it from becoming a storage site. to plants rely on the storage pools. john laneir is a scientist at brooke haven. >> normally because this is a passive system, you wouldn't expect much to happen here. but, of course, if you're looking at something like a terrorist attack, then you would want to have extra measures. >> he says after 9/11 they told utilities they must have an emergency back up plan to keep them from getting full. one other similarity are the emergency power systems. if there's a power failure in the u.s., emergency diesel generators will kick in, and if they don't operate, there are batteries that can provide power for four to eight hours.
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that's essentially the same backup plan at the fukushima plant in japan. wolf? >> thanks very much, mary. if you want to know how close you live to a nuclear power plant, they've create ad handy web tool. we used the bureau zip code in washington. it shows the closest nuclear power plant that outlines the ten-mile area where the air may be unsafe if there were an accident and the 50-mile danger zone where water and food may be contaminated if you're interested. living through one major earthquake is bad enough. meet a couple who survived jar pan and two more major earth wakes in the last few months. and retired u.s. army general wesley clark is here in "the situation room." we'll talk about u.s. military options.
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a young couple lived through three powerful earthquakes. two happened in their hometown of christchurch, new zealand. lisa sylvester has this amazing story. >> i was on the train underground when the train suddenly stopped. we just experienced starting very slowly some very vigorous shaking. >> bridgette and her fiance were both in tokyo when the earthquake hit. >> the shaking increased and increased to the point where it became obviously really vinyl. >> they escaped unharmed, but what's really remarkable is this is no the first major earthquake for either of them. brenda was also in the 7.0
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earthquake that hit christchurch, new zealand last month. both were in the other new zealand earthquake that destroyed u much of christchurch. then came the 9.0 japan earthquake. how did this happen? all a coincidence. they were living in christchurch when the first earthquake hit. >> the first earthquake that occurred in new zealand last year. >> brendan studies earthquakes for a living ironically. they runned to chris christchurch in february for their wedding, a wedding that had to be put off. >> because of the damage to the wedding venue. we decided to postpone it until
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after we returned from japan. >> the second christchurch earthquake not only delayed the wedding, but her wedding dress was destroyed. that's the least of their concerns now. >> we. >> the wedding dress was destroyed. i can't imagine a person you love was trapped. >> some may say they're a magnet for earthquakes, but they consider themselves lucky. definitely on the positive side. >> thanks very much. >> thank you very much. >> and they say that things come in threes. well, couple says their hearts go out to the many, many victims of the earthquakes. they say none of their family members or friends were killed or injured in knee of these earthquakes.
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>> nanks very much, lisa. we're going live to tokyo in a moment or so. cnn's anderson cooper and much more when we come back.
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you're in "the situation room." happening now, we're tracking two major international stories. breaking news in japan, the crisis level is raised at a triple nuclear reactors. officials say the problems are worse than originally thought. emergency workers struggling to hold their own in a battle to head off the catastrophe. and president obama warns libya's leader to call off his troops or face military action. the u.s. and its allies prepare to carry out a u.n. resolution authorizing military force. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the united states and several key allies are ready for
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military action against libya. president obama warned gadhafi that he'll face the consequences if he does not halt what the president calls the brutal repression of his own people. listen to this. >> now once more, moammar gadhafi has a choice. the resolution that passed lays out very clearly conditions that must be met. the united states, the united kingdom, france and arab states agree that a cease fire must be implemented immediately. that means all attacks against civilians must stop. gadhafi must strap his troops from advancing on benghazi, pull them back from misrata and zawiya and extend water and gas supplies to all areas.
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humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of libya. let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable. these terms are not subject to negotiation. if gadhafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences. and the resolution will be enforced through military action. >> after the security council authorized the no-fly zone and the use of force, the gadhafi regime did announce a cease fire. but the fighting rages on and the casualties continue to mount. nic robertson is joining us now from tripoli where gadhafi's forces remain in control, and arwa damon is in benghazi. what is the latest as far as the united nations security council resolution? doesn't look like military action, as we speak now, has started. are they disappointed in
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benghazi that it's taking so long? >> reporter: they're disappointed, but more importantly they're growing anxious and fearful. they feel the delay of the resolution is giving gadhafi's forces time to do what they will until it is actually imposed. he is even violating his own cease fire that his government announced on air. we did not see that materialize either. and so people are growing increasingly careful. wolf, we heard earlier from ambassador rice talking about the need for an immediate cease fire. that hasn't happened. today according to the opposition in misrata alone at least 26 people were killed. hundreds more were wounded. many people are asking, what is the u.s. waiting for? it says the immediate need, and yesterday immediate obviously isn't happening. people are very worried. they fear gadhafi could strike in benghazi tonight. he'll continue to strike in other parts of the country.
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and meanwhile, they are very happy this resolution passed. now it has to be implemented. >> it's one thing to utter words. it's another thing for action. nick, what are they saying in tripoli? gadhafi's forces there. is there any indication they will accept all the demands, the ultimatum laid out by the president? >> reporter: they're going to find it hard to swallow, wolf. in the beginning the gadhafi troops went back further east. as president obama mentioned. secretary of state hillary clinton mentioned the other towns that gadhafi would have to pull back from. that's going to very, very hard for them to swallow. the reality of what we see on the ground now. it seems that the government is trying to get the international communities ready to enforce the u.n. resolution. use this time to mop up areas and towns on the ground it doesn't want left in the
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opposition's hands. really, the government is playing for time and pushing the envelope, despite what they're saying, wolf. >> but you've seen a shift on the part of government officials, supporters of gadhafi over these past few days. and especially in the aftermath of the u.n. security council union. do they give the impression that some of them are saying it's over? it's over for gadhafi sooner rather than later? >> reporter: one of the interesting comments i heard today, wolf, was quite a very telling insight about the gadhafi family. i was told that the gadhafi family were together, they were together. and i was told they are in a state of denial. there's a lot of denial, i was tole. which rather gives the impression that the gadhafi regime wasn't expecting the resolution to get passed. doesn't know exactly how to handle it and what to do about it. and is blaming everyone else for
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why it happened. blaming the international community. that's what we're going to hear, wolf. >> i've been speaking to high ranking administration, u.s. administration officials at the highest levels. they tell me it is eventually going to be over for gadhafi. but the question to you is how many more libyans will die before he's removed? zbl >> reporter: that's a question i would never want to answer. people in here say why should anyone need to die when all they want is freedom and democracy, others are the very basic principles that the u.s. tries to promote so strongly. people say their struggle is basic, that it started out peacefully, that all they wanted was a life free of gadhafi's oppressive rules, and then gadhafi forces attack them with violence. they had no choice but to arm
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themselves. historically gadhafi is dealing with the political prisoners for a decade just because they spoke out against them. nobody wants to see the bloodshed go on any longer. they've been forced in the battle. they've taken it as far as they can. they feel the responsible is now with the international community to help them bring this to an end, wolf. >> it reminds me from gadhafi's perspective of the way saddam hussein may have been feeling on the eve of the u.s.-led war, almost exactly eight years ago. he was blustering. but then it was over relatively quickly for saddam hussein. as you remember. within a matter of days he was within hiding and then eventually captured and hung. i assume that's going through gadhafi's mind right now. >> it doesn't appear to be, wolf.
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he was obviously able to watch for some time the military buildup going on in kuwait and elsewhere. he could see everything that was being arranged in front of him and didn't really believe until the last minute it was going to happen. and then it did. i think gadhafi here has a hard imtime imagining what will be coming his way. gadhafi asking himself the question if he'll be targeted. more likely coming to the conclusion that it will target his air force on the ground. his radar systems, his airfields, and he's not a man who goes into hiding easily. are we going to see more of him on the television in the coming days? sort of surprised we didn't see him today with a fresh statement. but it's entirely possible we'll see him popping up a lot more.
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maybe the appearances in the green square. in the center of tripoli here, reaffirming he's around and not being forced out by anyone. the difficulty everyone here has, and i've been telling officials this since we arrived here three weeks ago. that the international community is clearly dead set against moammar gadhafi. there has to be an acceptance that at some point he has to step down. it seems to be a hard thing for anyone here to do. to tell gadhafi there's a long way to go, i think, between where we stand today and the end, wolf. >> nic robertson is in tripoli for us. arwa damon is in benghazi. we'll stay in close touch with both of you. both of you please be careful. is libya prepared to comply with
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the u.n. resolution and the president's demands? listen to this. this just in from libya's deputy foreign minister in tripoli. >> the armed forces are located outside the city of benghazi. and we have no intention of entering the city. >> let's turn to somebody who actually knows something. the former supreme allied commander of nato, wesley clark. thanks for coming in. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. told me in the last hour, gadhafi and libya, they are in violation with the security council resolution. how much time do you gi them before military action should begin? >> in my view military action should have begun immediately.
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they have to follow up on it and get a team in there. the idea is not to bomb him in submission. it's to use the military leverage and our forces to use diplomacy or get him out of there as the sex tear of state said, he has no business being there. you would have hoped there would have been strong preparation, but there were strong reservations. germany abstained in the u.n. security council vote.
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it could have been done with mediterranean dialogue we've had in existence since the 1990s in nato. it could be a coalition of the willing. somehow you have to have airborne early yorng in command and control air kravt up there maybe also use unmanned aerial vehicles. what you have to worry about is not just the forces poised outside benghazi, but gadhafi's intelligence and his people going into benghazi. identify i identifying opposition leaders. certainly he's in a fight for his life. my guess is there are people saying, okay, how do we use this?
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call for a seas fire. we destroy evidence of previous war crimes violations we try to cover our tracks. we prepare for the long haul. we try to hold onto power in libya. that's their game. they all say a no-fly zone begins with an air assault. you take out the radar systems, you bomb targets on the ground. you crater their runways. planes or whatever they have. when do you think those strikes, i assume if you're going to do it, you have to begin with an air assault like that. >> well, wolf, i think that's questionable. i know a lot of people said it. i know the secretary of defense said it. if you go back to the record, we flew over iraq countously without faking out the ain't
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aircraft weapons. we walted for the hostile intent before we engaged. we lost one aircraft in early 1995 over bosnia. there are different ways to do it. it may not necessarily begin with a sweeping attack. it could. but it doesn't necessarily have to. >> how risky is this for u.s. military personnel? >> well, i think that although libya has an ars force, it has mid-21s and probably mid-25s that can still fly. a high-performance aircraft with the ragt training and right air support can handle that. i'm not saying it's not
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dangerous, but it's manageable. but bhen you get it mixed up on the ground you don't want to create instances that backfire against nato's good intentions. it's possible for him to still infiltrate tanks and snipers and intelligence agents and continue to pick apart the opposition. he's got them hemmed in at this point, it appears. so he does have the military momentum. it hasn't exactly changed yet. >> one final question, general. is there a lot of concern about the no-fly zone. it also becomes the no drive zone. you start taking out artillery and tanks. positions like that. is that a good idea? >> well, i think this is, you know, the fundamental question of the intervention. wolf, the question is what's the real objective, and can you stop short. will you be satisfied if you're
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the president of the united states or if you're the leader of france? will you be satisfied if gadhafi said, oh, okay, i'll stop. i've halted my forces. i'm willing to consider where we are right now. these people are criminals. they must be punished in accordance with the laws of libya. i'm not going to do more with heavy artillery. are you happy with that? or would you say he's forfeited his legitimacy to rule in libya, if you mean that? then it means following through to regime change. and if that's the objective, and the air strike or air cover doesn't work, then presumably you're going to do something else. and this is the imponderable in the situation. always the concern in the intervention. what is your objective? if it's humanitarian, that's fine. when we went to kosovo, we had no intention of forcing them out of office. it was to stop the ethnic
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cleansing. this may be different. >> the president said gadhafi must go. so presumably in his regime change that's the ultimate goal right now. they want him either dead, i'm sure, or a a criminal court of justice. >> then that's the mission. >> i assume that's the mission. whether they say it or not. thanks for that general wesley clark. retired nato supreme allied commander. we're following other breaking news as well including in japan. the severity level of japan's nuclear crisis has been upgraded. now on par with the disaster at three-mile island. anderson cooper standing by. ♪ ♪
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now japanese officials are saying the problems are more serious than originally estimated. for a second straight day the situation has not worsened. let's get more from tom foreman at the magic wall for us. what have you learned, tom? >> what officials have now that they did not have before is more information. let's take ha look at what's been happening here. these were the facilities before this happened, one, two, three and four.
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this is what they look like in the latest image from digital globe. you can see all the damage. officials have been covering this a lot more closely and getting more pictures, looking close. they can see the damage, too. look at this photograph taken after the tsunami. you don't see as much apparent damage. when you look at the current pictures, you can see things have broken down in the explosions, the heat, the radiation, so they have changed the rating. one reason is the radiation reading. common exposure is 3 miliceters a year. the highest is 400 per hour. over here where they're trying to establish a power line in here, they had a reading of 20 per hour. that's one of the reasons they're concerned about this. that's three per year. 20 an hour. it's up and down you can't read
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too much into that, but it's important to look at. what it has done was change your rating. number five where they are now, they're talking wider consequences. the real potential of radiation leaks or maybe we've already had them, they believe. you may have some deaths associated with this. you may have boder contamination. that's about the three-mile island range. the next steps are serious accident number six and all the way up to chernobyl in 1966. these are big jumps, too. it's not an easy change to make here. that's what authorities have. they've looked at more information. they're intensifying their efforts, like the cooling efforts. you can barely see it here. the spraying to try to cool down unit number three. the bottom line is things have not worsened today from all we can tell. it looks relatively stable in one, two, and three. five and six, which are off to the side have diesel power supporting them a bit. number four is the really serious problem.
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they still don't know and they're still debating how much coolant they have in the spent fuel rod pool. that can tell you how much radiation will come off this and affect all the rest of the operation. >> tom, thanks for the explanation. let's go live to cnn's marty savage in tokyo now. what impact is all of this having on the millions and millions of people who live in tokyo? what are you seeing, marty? >> about 1 million people live in the city of tokyo. when we first arrived in the middle of the week, it was eerily quiet. people who have been here for weeks say they haven't seen anything like it. should be hustling and bustling. it looked like a sunday morning. very limited traffic on the street. very few people on the street there are a number of explanations. there isn't a lot of fuel to be had. not a lot of driving.
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so number two, food has been horded by many people. and because of the the fact that electricity is in shore supply, many people are staying home. a lot of businesses have greatly scaled back their hours. a lot of restaurants have closed down with a shorter day. all of this creating a cocooning effect. many people are curtailing activities because they have no other choice and that's what of the government has asked them to do to contribute to the overall recovery effort. wolf. >> marty, thanks very much. he's in tokyo. we're also staying in touch with our own anderson cooper. he's joining us live in just a moment as well. and dozens of people reported killed as tens of thousands take to the street of yemen. there's a state of emergency right now. [ male announcer ] escape convention.
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let's get more on the breaking news from japan right flow. anderson, the japanese are now finally saying this is a level five category, which is like three mile island in pennsylvania back in 1979. but a lot of folks have been suggesting that for days now. here's the question, what's taking japan so long to come to this conclusion? >> well, especially when you consider that we heard from the
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u.s. nuclear officials two days ago saying the situation was much worse than japanese officials were letting on. now two days later you have japanese officials saying based on the data from the past couple of days, essentially the u.s. officials were right. the situation is worse. they've raised it to a level five. equivalent to three-mile island. a lot of observers say this is worse. we've known this for a while. there has been release of radioactive material. people's health has been affected already. two people are missing. two workers are missing at the plant, presumed dead. sew there's a lot of questions about whether the japanese authorities are still being as transparent as they, as they should be. in their dealings with the public. that being said, we know that they're essentially three battles, wolf, going on now. one, there's the effort to restore power line, bring a new power line to reactors number one and two. the hope is if they're able to
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do that they can get the cooling system going again, the cooling pumps going. the problem is they haven't been able to restore the power line because of high levels of radiation detected yesterday outside of reactor two. steam was seen rising from reactor two yesterday, likely containing radioactive material. it's been difficult for them to restore the power. they're not sure if the cooling pumps work. they may have been damaged in the earthquake or corroded by the sea water they've been pumping in. that's an open question. the other two battles are reactor number three, the spent fuel rod pools that has been the main surs of their efforts. they're branging in japanese soldiers and firemen trying to constantly power water. they'll send in one truck, pour water. the truck will go in reverse, another truck will come in. they don't want to expose the workers for too long to the high levels of radiation.
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but they admit, japanese officials do admit they have no idea how effective the water operations are going, and then there's the big question of reactor number four, the spent fuel rod pool in reactor number four. some reports say there may be some sort of leak in it, so it's not able to hold any water. two days ago u.s. officials said they believe there was little to no water in the pool. japanese officials say they cannot tell exactly how much water is in the pool. so three main battles going on, wolf. they do again, say today, saturday already, that they hope to try to connect the power to reactors one and two today. but they said that on thursday. they said that on friday. nothing has gone as they had hoped. >> anderson, several u.s. experts, including government officials and others, they've all said to me, they believe the u.s. recommendation for american citizens within a 50-mile radius, they should get out of there, yet the japanese government says 1 miles is enough. you don't have to get out if you
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live 12 miles outside of the radius. how are the japanese defending their decision in the face of u.s. oex peexperts who are sayi better be safe rather than sorry. 50 miles is a lot more reasonable? >> they say they've looked at the data and they believe it's a reasonable evacuation zone. they essentially say they're not saying the u.s. is wrong, they're just saying they look at the data, and that's how they interpret it. it was two somedays ago the u.s. gave this 50-mile exclusion zone for u.s. citizens. now they admitted what the u.s. said two days ago in terms of this being worse than they said was true. they have still not extended the exclusion zone. they in fact said, have come out and said we still believe, even though we now say it was worse than previously saying, we still believe this exclusion zone, this 20-kilometer, 12-mile
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evacuation zone is appropriate. >> any government doesn't want to panic the people. you have to be transparent and you have to tell the folks, here are the facts. they may not be pleasant. tough deal with it. you don't want to sugar coat what could be a really, what i'm sure is a really awful situation. so i'm a little surprised that the japanese and some reporters have said to me they don't have a good record as far as transparency in dealing with the press to begin with. >> they absolutely don't. you hear a lot of the public statements by officials, like politicians anywhere in the world, they talk, but they're not necessarily saying anything. it seems more compounded in this tragedy. also you have to remember, wolf, they're getting their information essentially from tepca, the tokyo electric power company. the private company that runs and operates the plant. that company does not have a
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history of transparency, in fact, has a history of misleading the public in public statements. it's very troubling how much information is being spread, whether the information is really accurate, and whether it's timely. you know, there is really a sense, i think, among a lot of people here, that they just don't believe some of the statements that are coming out from their officials and from tepc officials. >> ac 360 live in japan. we'll be watching, anderson. thanks for the good work. >> as the world waits to see what's going in libya, there's new violence in the middle east. [ wind howling ] [ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow.
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request in sooir syria, witnesses report rioting. there are unconfirmed reports of deaths and injuries. anti-government activists proclaim today dignity day on facebook. a spoerkesman says the u.s. condemns the violence and calls on the syrian government to stop
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its people. the pearl monument. this is video of the scrap left behind on the sate where thousands of people demanded change in the kingdom. the government says it was part of a infrastructure improvement plan. in yemen, a state of emergency in the deadly clashes. at least 40 people were killed when tens of thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in the capitol the interior minister says there are fatalities on both sides. on my recent trip this week with secretary of state clinton to egypt and tunisia. you'll see my reporter's notebook, some entries from it, also some pictures for the trip. a coalition is forms against
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moammar gadhafi. but who is in charge of the no-fly zone effort? would it be the united states, its allies? we'll hear what president obama is saying. [ male announcer ] nature valley sweet & salty nut bars... they're made from whole roasted nuts and dipped in creamy peanut butter, making your craving for a sweet & salty bar irresistible, by nature valley.
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face it. the thing you push against is the thing that lifts you up. so, every challenge really, is a chance to show that even in this crazy world of : no liquids, take your shoes off cost cutting and route canellations someone in this industry still has the passenger's back. it starts with a simple "hello" and it ends in over three- hundred fifty destinations woldwide. and along the way we'll prove we're not just building a bigger airline we're building a better one. president obama warning moammar gadhafi to warn off troops or else. the u.s. and others are preparing for possible military
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action, but who will be in charge? listen to this. don't listen. we'll cue up that sound bite later. let's discuss what's going on with senior political analyst gloria borger and jill bdoughe y dougherty. >> american leadership is essential. that does not mean acting alone. it means shaping the conditions for the international community to act together. that's why i directed secretary gates and the military to coordinate the planning. and tomorrow secretary clinton will travel to paris about the enforcement of resolution 1973. there are british and french allies and members of the arab league have already committed to take a leadership roll in the enforcement of the resolution. just as they were instrumental in pursuing it. we are coordinating closely with them. and this is precisely how the international community should
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work as nations bare the responsible and the cost of enforcing international -- >> gloria, the president is criticized for waiting this long, not being more decisive over the first four weeks. but he wanted to build the international coalition. >> he did. a unilateral no-fly zone was never going to pap with this president. >> not just the international coalition, the arab league as wail. >> they believed a no fly zone by itself wouldn't be a resolution. we were focused on getting it right. president obama is not about beating his chest and winning the day's headlines. we couldn't go down a military road and then discover it's not going to work. you have to be strategic. you have to get your partners along with you and the arab league, as you point out, was very important and remains so. >> we'll see which arab
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countries specifically show up. >> exactly. >> will the saudis, the aue, cutter, there's a lot of questions on that front. >> jill dougherty, what do they want in libya? >> that's the ultimate question. they are very focused on the immediate situation of stopping gadhafi's advance. they want to stop the violence. that is number one. they also say the objective of the no-fly zone is not to get gadhafi to step down, although it's a main part of the strategy. they're using the word sequen sequencing. that's what hillary clinton is saying. one step at a time. in other words, you look to stop the violence, stop the killing, and then you continue to tighten the noose in different ways.
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the only thing right now is there is not a lot of time. they want a cease fire. it doesn't seem to be holding. that could speed up the process if gadhafi does not stop his attack. >> and i think it's fair to say, gloria, based on everything i'm hearing, they don't expect gadhafi to say, you know what, it's over. i see the handwriting on the wall. i'm leaving. they think he'll fight. will his military leave with him, or will all of these actions convince the top military branch, those killing libyans right now, you better stop or you're going down, too? >> and if you talk to people at the white house, they say take a look at what's happened over the last five weeks. they started out by trying to isolate gadhafi, to try to say, okay, we're going to freeze finances. people are going to be held accountable in the international court if you support gadhafi.
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then to this coalition at the united nations. so it is tightening the noose. the interesting thing to me, wolf, is there is no time line here. there is no deadline. the ambassador to the u.n. did not give you any sort of time line. but it's clear when they see things aren't going the right way, they're going to act. >> very quickly, the secretary of state arrived from 1:00 a.m. to france, egypt and tunisia. now she's going back to paris. >> we learned about it when we heard it come out of the president's mouth, that hillary clinton is going to the meeting. that's where they'll be discussing who does what, the strategy. she'll be meeting with european partners, and also arab partner ls. because in all of this, the crucial, crucial element is the arab league. and you've been talking about that. that was one thing that really
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changed the situation, when the arab league came out in support of the no-fly zone. >> traveling a lot. i read about that in the reporter's notebook we just posted at check it out. gloria, thanks to you as well. a check of the day's other top stories is coming up. also, you've seen the devastation. communities reduced to rubble. now you'll hear from a japanese family at work on the heartbreaking task of starting all over. l right? i don't want you going out on those yet. and leave your phone in your purse, i don't want you texting. >> daddy... ok! ok, here you go. be careful. >> thanks dad. >> and call me--but not while you're driving. we knew this day was coming. that's why we bought a subaru.
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deadly violence is flaring in ivory coast right now among other places. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room" right now. it's an awful world, lisa. >> that's right, wolf. at least 45 people were killed there today. hundreds of thousands have been displaced by unrest that's gripped the country sis disputed election results last november. they are urging the security council to take action. the brother of al qaeda's second in command has been free from prison. the interim government released him along with scores of other political prisoners. he had been jailed since 1999, first linked to the assassin and later accused of conspireing against the egyptian government. and an elementary school student here in washington is facing charges for allegedly bringing cocaine to school and sharing it with other children.
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remember, which happened at an elementary school. four of the children who inhaled or it ate were taken to a hospital. they won't say how the child got the cocaine. >> thanks very much, lisa. and returningruins. it's the plight of thousands of japanese families. we'll meet one of them. under the hood. so we gave it a new name. castrol edge with syntec power technology. new name. better formula. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. is a powerful force. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪
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thousands of families will spend years rebuilding what the quake and tsunami destroyed in
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only a few minutes. cnn's gary tuchman is in japan's disaster zone. >> reporter: this is what many families along japan's pacific coast are coming home to. the ichikawa family lives in the city of hachinohe, two blocks from the ocean, where a wall of water devoured their neighborhood. now with the help of friends they try to clean up. but the task they have in front of them appears to be overwhelming. you can see this family's house is off its foundation. how high did the water go? here's the water line, all the way up there. that's at least ten feet of water that came down this street. you can see the mud. i mean, it's an insurmountable amount of mud to shovel just to clean up this driveway. and they don't know if they're going to be able to move back in this house. but they want to clean up, this family, and get an idea if it's possible to move back. and it's so cold out right now and the snow is coming down again. what they've done is they put together this portable heater unit so they can work into the
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night and not freeze. friends are helping them with the physical work and the psychological support. 17-year-old ren, his mother chikako and his father hidimitsu are in a state of shock. >> translator: i have no words to express my feelings. i lost my mind. we will have to start from zero. >> reporter: the nearby pacific provides one of the great charms of living in the neighborhood. but now many of the homes are decimated. the ocean, they say, has turned against them. the city of hachinohe has spent an enormous amount of money to build this elaborate series of sea walls, 30 feet tall, to protect its neighborhoods from flooding. but not surprisingly, when the tsunami came, these walls made very little difference. the ichikawas have no idea how to even start figuring out whether they can live in this house again. >> translator: this is a nightmare, but we are alive.
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>> reporter: and for that they are grateful. gary tuchman, cnn, hachinohe, japan. canine survivors of the tsunami. jeanne moos shows us how their story ends when we come back. the smell of home made chili whatever scents fill your household, purina tidy cats scoop helps neutralize odors in multiple cat homes... keeping your house smelling like it should. purina tidy cats scoop. keep your home smelling like home. ♪ [ male announcer ] what are you gonna miss
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curtis: welcome back to geico geck csteve, go right on the ahead. steve: yeah, u i jt afree rate, saved a ton, and it only took me 5 minutes and 12 seconds! steve: i was wondering that some sort of record? gecko: that's a good question. e 5 milet's have a look.ds! curtis: mmmm, not quite. someone's got you beat by 8 seconds. cko: still, i mean, at's... that's qui steve: well, what if i told you i only used one hand? anncr: geico. 15 nuco save yor insurance. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: this is one of
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those "where are they now" stories. amid all the human suffering in japan, a pair of tsunami-surviving dogs stood out. "is the dog dead," wondered the fuji tv team that stumbled on this scene as the healthier dog seemed to stick by his injured buddy. moments later, proof of life. soon this video was rocketing around the web and the bedraggled but seemingly loyal dog became an iconic picture on the facebook page of japan earthquake animal rescue and support. >> we actually tried to go and rescue these two dogs after hearing about them. >> reporter: isabella galleon-aoki and others packed up a van, head for the devastated sendai area to see what they could do for pets left behind in evacuations. finding human survivors is hard enough. imagine trying to track down a pair of dogs.
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they went at it like detectives, trying to find the building behind the dogs in the video. they ended up here. >> this is the school that we think is the elementary school that we saw in the background of the original footage of the dogs. >> reporter: but no dogs. and that turned out to be good news because animal rescuers believe this man, animal rights supporter and dog food importer ken sakurai, got his friends to get the dogs. >> he was able to get into the area with the help of two men on motorcycles. >> reporter: that's ashley fruno, a member of peta who's also in sendai, though she's better known for drawing a crowd at peta protests. on his facebook page, ken sakurai says the injured dog is in a vet clinic while the healthier one is in a nearby shelter but please know that those two are just the tip of the iceberg, there are more and we need help. japan earthquake animal rescue has raised over

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN March 18, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Gadhafi 61, Libya 32, U.n. 19, Benghazi 14, Tokyo 11, Moammar Gadhafi 9, France 7, Japan 7, Tripoli 7, Nato 6, Christchurch 5, Yemen 5, Ben 5, Obama 5, Purina 4, Geico 4, Lisa 4, Washington 4, Pentagon 4, Gloria 3
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